Just before the Omicron variant came along, the level of positivity was increasing related to global relocation and assignments. In our 2022 trends report, we revealed that mobility managers expect international relocations and international short-term assignments to be the move types that would increase the most over the next 12 months. As a relocation management company, we got pretty excited about that positive expectation and outlook. We currently hope to see the impact of the variant on global mobility lessen drastically over the next few months and that level of optimism become a reality. There is evidence that while it is more contagious, it is also less severe and that as we get vaccinations, boosters and new treatments approved and deployed, we may be able to open things up for a wave of global relocation and assignments.

When that does happen, will you be ready to maximize the success of your expatriates? Our friends over at BiCortex Languages explain why international corporate relocations and assignments should go hand in hand with language training. While an expat may be able to get by with limited language knowledge, being able to speak the local language will allow them to settle into their host country with far greater ease, develop better relationships more quickly, and have a greater overall amount of success during their time. Whether you tap into the benefits of face-to-face language training, online individual or group classes, or self-paced language courses through a learning platform, the ability to communicate with locals in the new community is invaluable.

While some mobility programs look at language training benefits as core to a successful assignment, there are plenty that do not offer the benefit. Among our clients, 48% offer language training in their global mobility benefit package. Of those that offer it, about half offer it to both permanent transfers and assignments. This might be the time to consider including it if you are not already.

For other considerations, take a look at these previous posts related to the value of language and cultural training: